Individual skill differences and large-scale environmental learning

Alexa W. Fields, Amy L. Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Spatial skills are known to vary widely among normal individuals. This project was designed to address whether these individual differences are differentially related to large-scale environmental learning from route (ground-level) and survey (aerial) perspectives. Participants learned two virtual environments (route and survey) with limited exposure and tested on judgments about relative locations of objects. They also performed a series of spatial and nonspatial component skill tests. With limited learning, performance after route encoding was worse than performance after survey encoding. Furthermore, performance after route and survey encoding appeared to be preferentially linked to perspective and object-based transformations, respectively. Together, the results provide clues to how different skills might be engaged by different individuals for the same goal of learning a large-scale environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-515
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2006


  • Environmental learning
  • Individual differences
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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